What is your standard reply when someone asks how you're feeling? Is it something akin to...."Okay"...???
What is "okay?" Does that mean you're just hanging in there, or that you're fine and dandy, or that you really don't want to talk?
It is important to know how we feel. It's important that we be able to convey that to other people, or else how will they ever know? But even more important than communicating our needs outwardly, is the importance of letting ourselves know how we feel. Do we really know half the time?
Here's a fun way, and this chart is farrrrrrrr from complete. But see if you can pick a feeling from amongst the faces below, and then let me ask you the question again.....
How can we deal with our feelings if we don't even know what they are? When considering health, people often forget this part of the equation. It is important to have emotional balance, and to take care of our emotional selves. Good health requires more than just taking an herb.
In our society, often it seems, we are taught to repress our feelings from the time we are very young. Women are put down for crying too much, and we all know what they're called if they should ever get angry or express any type of displeasure with things. And men are always told to "be strong," and that grown men don't cry, unless they are weak or gay. (And then they're put down for that.)
It starts at an early age. In childhood we learn that boys do not cry and girls are supposed to be "nice." There's no mistake in the message. We learn early to stop crying or we'll be given something to cry about.
Well, tears are there for a reason. There's incredible healing power in tears.
And anger? Well, there's nothing the matter with anger, when expressed in a proper way. When repressed for too long, though, it often comes out in a BLAST! Plus, it's not good for your health.
Better not pout! Better not cry! Better not shout!
How about better not punch anyone in the mouth, or better not throw a tantrum in the grocery store...Let's try to be a little more specific with our kids...and ourselves! Wouldn't it be better to teach them proper behaviors to have instead of expecting them not to FEELFEEL?
Let them go out in the backyard and yell at the trees if they'd like! Shouting's not always that bad!
Feelings WILL surface...feelings are natural, they're there for a reason, and they're a very big part of our life and who we are on the inside. If we don't deal with our emotions, our emotions will deal with us. It's not as easy as, "Get over it!" Feelings sometimes take time to work through.
We do need to have a harness on our emotions, and learn the proper ways of when, how, and with whom to express. BUT...emotions do need expression, or they will wreak havoc upon our health and our lives.
In holistic healing, we learn that emotions always have a physical correlation of expression. Research is backing this up.
So, let's start with the original question. How are you feeling today? You might think that's a simple question to answer, but is it? Do we even know how we feel? Let's take a look at some feeling words, that go beyond "okay," and "not so good." Click here for a list of more than 3,000 feeling words. We've got to stop ignoring this part of ourselves if we want to be healthy and well!
Okay, back to the question...How do you feel? Notice how you answer when somebody asks, or how you include it in your everyday habits of speech. Listen to see if you ever use the phrase, "I feel that...blah blah blah," because those are not feeling words. Feeling words are one- (maybe two-) word responses. Long sentences express what you THINK. Thoughts and feelings are two entirely different things, and it's important to separate them.
"I feel _____." One word goes in that blank. Put it in there. "I think that ______________." See the difference? The way we pattern our speech can take us a long way in learning to undertand and accept how we feel.
Another thing to keep in mind. Feelings aren't facts! Sometimes I have to remind myself of that little fact! Hahaha! Otherwise, I get way, way too wrapped up in how I "feel." Feelings come and go. They are indications of whether or not things are out of whack with my internal modulator of what I think I want or need and my interpretation of that, or something along those kinds of lines; BUT they're not fact. Just because I feel afraid does not mean the world is going to come to an end. Getting things in perspective can help.
Let me leave you with this thought...
There are a lot of good feelings to have in our lives. If we repress our feelings, that goes across the board. We can't just repress anger, and not repress joy. We can't repress love and feel love at the same time. We can't repress fear and really know how it feels to have faith. It just does not work that way.
We need to learn to embrace our feelings...If we feel afraid, it's okay. If we feel angry, then maybe there's a reason for that. If we don't admit how we feel, then how can we possibly address the situation that is provoking those feelings in us? Emotions are often cues to when something's not right in our world.
Or when something IS right. We'd like to be in touch with that, too, I would think! If we sort out our emotions, and learn that feelings aren't facts, then we could start to recognize what is "just feeling," and what is indeed a wee small voice from within telling us what we need to hear.
You can't have emotional balance if you deny one half of the equation. If all the feelings we perceive as "bad" are wiped out, then more "bad" feelings arise...like apathy, or deep depression, or hostility....or the other extreme of always neeeeeeeeding to feel good, good, good, and even better than that. (That's an addictive pattern of thought, which never finds the satisfaction it seeks!)
If you just let yourself go on and feel what you feel and work through your feelings, then the happy channels just open up! It's really as simple as that, though not always easy I know.
There are lots of ways to work on healing emotions. There are techniques, practices, methods and modalities galore! There's meditation and prayer, there are breathing exercises, even certain foods and herbs which will help. We can discuss all of those. There are even physical movement exercises which help balance emotions...I promise to do a whole entire blog on those, as well as one on particular essential oils and flower essences which can be of emmense help in leading us toward emotional peace.
But first, let's concentrate on just identify the way that we feel throughout the day. That is the very first step. Along with that goes a word of caution, however....PLEASE do not judge yourself for the way that you feel! Bless every feeling that comes, and allow yourself to feel how it is that you feel. Offer comfort to yourself in that way.
Feelings are GOOD! ALL of them! They just need to be balanced, that's all. If we label some "bad," that's out of balance...Then they get reeeeeeeally "bad!"
Go on and feel how you feel!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP
Click Here for the Daily Smile Page!
(Can you believe it? Sometimes we're even AFRAID TO FEEL GOOD! Now you KNOW something's not right with all that! Hahaha! We gotta get this thing RIGHT!)
The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.